Gaming Control Board slashes Michigan racing dates

The Michigan HBPA website reports…

MICHIGAN GAMING AND CONTROL BOARD MEETS WITH INDUSTRY: On Wednesday, March 3, 2010 the MGCB indicated the number of race days that will be reduced for the balance of the 2009-10 fiscal year due to budget cuts. Attendees were told that the approved dates of 261 for racetracks will be reduced to 112 or 57%.

Pinnacle Race Course days reduced for the 2009-10 fiscal year ending September 30, 2010 are 34(52%) leaving 31 race days from June 4 to August 13…Friday, Saturday and Monday. At this point, no racing between Aug 14 to Sept. 30, 2010.

Efforts are underway to challenge the cut and amount stated as cost per to regulate a live race day by ORC staff. More details will be made available as soon as possible.

UPDATE: The Michigan Gaming Control Board has come out with a slideshow outlining the changes in race dates for each track and the fiscal reasons for the announcement. For those of you too busy to peruse the presentation (though I suggest you do it anyway), it shows downward trend after downward trend in race dates, handle and governmental “give-a-damn” followed by an execution-style bullet to the back of the head in the form of massive cuts in race dates.

Here is the breakdown of the cutbacks by track…

Pinnacle Race Course
Before (Dates initially allotted): 84 days –  June 4 to September 30
After: 31 days – June 4 to August 13
Change: -53 days

Mount Pleasant Meadows
Before: 23 days – May 15 to September 25
After: 11 days – June 6 to August 29
Change: -12 days

Hazel Park Raceway
Before: 61 days – April 30 to August 6
After: 29 days – April 30 to September 18
Change: -32 days

Northville Downs
Before: 18 days – February 12 to April 24
After: 11 days – March 5 to March 27 (some dates have already been run)
Change: -7 days

Sports Creek Raceway

Sports Creek has already conducted all of its race dates for the 2010 fiscal year and will not be affected by the Gaming Control Board’s announcement.

Clearly, this is bad news, but Michigan has been in this spot before. That said, if this goes through as it was drawn up, it is hard to imagine this year being anything less than devastating to the state’s racing industry. Check back for updates as more information becomes known.

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8 Comments

Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics

8 responses to “Gaming Control Board slashes Michigan racing dates

  1. I knew the meeting had not gone good. I was sworn to secrecy. I figured it would be reported soon enough as now here it is. I will be putting up a blog. I will be once again contacting the MGCB. And will contact ALL legislators in State. Even ones not in my own district. And I am going to contact this unrelentless GOVERNOR AGAIN. About time somebody educated this woman on our 75 year Horse Racing History in Mi.

    One message obviously went over that point on her head. This message has to be pounded in again and again until some nerve get awakened.

    Contact your Representative: http://house.michigan.gov/find_a_rep.asp

  2. ragman

    You thoroughbred people better think twice about who you want to partner with. I would say that Hazel’s casino push has ended. Thank you Boyd. Thank you all members of the harness scene.

  3. mutuel clerk

    How ironic that the reporting of race fixing was done at the same time race dates were cut? Coincidence? I think not.

  4. You Thoroughbred people?

    Number 1. HBPA should of drawn up their own damn petition without waiting for anybody. With ALL provisions in place for Live Racing, Purse Revenues, Simulcasting and Contracts.

    But they were stupid enough to let Dan Adkins play a game with them like they were toys. Now you have seen the result. Something they were warned about back in the summer.

    Reality set in for ALL of the MHHA members that Hazel Park was not to be trusted anymore concerning their own contracts with them.

    Also realizing that NO PROVISIONS for actual live horse racing was put into Adkins petition. Thus it was the HARNESS folks and with damn good reason that they jumped on THOROUGHBRED’S bandwagon, with making up a petition in the best interest of all racing. Thoroughbred and Harness. Personally after all the decades of grief the Harness people have caused the T.B.’s I wouldn’t of cared if they died. Since that is what they tried to do to us for decades.

    And now with story hitting about State Wide Harness race fixing with all the Harness tracks. It had now made any efforts to go forward, taking a 1,000 steps backwards.

    And news stating they don’t think Management was involved with the scheme. Don’t be surprised if that status doesn’t change in the near future. Take a hard look at who owns and runs NVD & H.P.

    Without actually naming names. COME ON
    Surely you jest.

    I blame all this bull on the most unknowledgeable Governor concerning the 75 year history of Horse Racing in the State of Mi. Some human beings you just can’t teach. They can have all the diploma’s and degrees in the world and still be the stupidest individuals on earth. Engler knew but just didn’t care. Granholm is just plain clueless. And that my friends is sad.

    In any case Harness Horsemen are now only happy to have the Thoroughbred Horsemen. I said 30 years ago. With the Harness working so direly to rid the State of T.B.’s, ( especially after the demise of DRC ) that one day they are going to need us desperately for THEIR survival. But we will be nowhere to be found because they finally killed us off.

    Now they are Thanking God, WE STILL ARE AROUND.

    Now do I trust them?

    Not as far as I can spit. But then I became street wise back in the 60s coming up in Detroit.

    That old Mafia saying is actually truth. Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer. Do everything with the utmost of caution and trust NO ONE.

  5. As you can tell, this is coming from a person who obviously prefers the standardbreds (and admittedly a person outside of Michigan).

    I lament the fact that both breeds tend to work for their own interest instead of jointly working together. You can cite examples from both sides looking to get an advantage over the other breed. In Iowa, the thoroughbred, quarter horse, and standardbred people decided to work together to secure their future at Prairie Meadows and the second management there offered the runners additional days, the t-bred interests basically told the quarter horse and standardbred people they were on their own.

    People need to realize the runners need the standardbreds and the standardbreds need to realize they need the runners. Working together, there is more strength; if one breed disappears from a state, it may give the other a brief period of prosperity, but the sad truth it they will be next to be knocked off. What both (or all) breeds need to recognize is united they survive; divided they will fall together.

  6. BWT

    Does anyone know of an actual reason as to why this governor is so openly hostile towards the racing industry? I’ve never seen anything like this, an entire industry being wiped out by the stroke of a pen.

  7. mibredclaimer

    Longshot,
    The only thing we can do is keep trying. It may not get through to everyone in Lansing, but if we can get through to a few, especially the right ones, it could lead to positive results.

    Ragman,
    Hazel Park’s casino proposal might not be as dead as you think. Consider this – Hazel Park and its execs supported the petition despite its projected adverse effects on live racing. As long as the track stays open long enough to get the slots running, the number of live days they run may be irrelevant.

    Mutuel Clerk,
    Sure doesn’t help racing generate any public support for getting the decision overturned, does it?

    Pacingguy,
    You’ve absolutely nailed it. The industry as a whole can survive only if everyone plays on the same team. Very well put.

    BWT,
    Rumor has it, she’s in bed with the Native American tribes somehow. There’s not much hard evidence to support it though, and you can’t FOIA the tribes. Maybe she was kicked by a horse as a youth and has held a lifelong vendetta against the species, I don’t know.

  8. ragman

    Joe
    I believe it was dead before this race-fixing crap came out. Might somehow have stood a chance if the %’s were reversed and the 70% went to the state(agri, State Fair,education,etc) and 30% to the tracks. I can only imagine what some of the casino’s vote NO adds will look like now. Will Tyner want to keep throwing more money away?

    The Michigan racing industry needs to bring in an outside analyst(maybe someone from the campus in Tuscon) and have him/her come up with a plan on how to survive and grow and maybe someday we would have a $40 mil racing industry.

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